Saturday Spotlight- Joseph Tortorella

NAME: Joseph Tortorella
AGE: 41
NICKNAME: J.T or Pasta ( when I was a kid on Sunday, I would have to leave friends early for spaghetti dinner)
HOMETOWN : Shirley
MARITAL STATUS: Married ( Charlotte)
CHILDREN : Daniel (10) Madeline ( 4months)
PETS: Jake ( border collie ) and running buddy
OCCUPATION: Police officer ( NYPD)
FAVORITE SONG: Anything from the chili peppers
FAVORITE KICKS: New balance fresh foam vongos

* I apologize for starting my Saturday post on Friday night, but I have a 4 month old that just started teething and I’m not sure what Saturday will bring after I get back from my run πŸ™‚ *

I’m not the best at writing about myself but Lou had asked me earlier if I would be warrior of the week one time. I replied back with not yet but eventually. So here we are…
So growing up I was always hyper. Most of the friends that know me in this group will probably agree that I still am. I always played sports. Whether it was for school or a league or just with friends. Mostly soccer, basketball, and hockey. I always loved to ride bicycles. That was an easy outlet for my extra energy. I would go with friends or just solo rides for hours. I rode so much that my parents let me use my confirmation money to buy my first ” real” bmx bike. I was hooked from that day forward.
Back in 1996 a year out of high school I was leaving work in my 1985 Monte Carlo ( giant metal tank) to go watch the Yankees playoff game at a friend’s house. Well being young hyper and just plain careless, I did a slow roll at the 4 way stop sign around the block from my friends house in Shirley. Unfortunately the man driving the ram work van didn’t want to stop either. All I remember was seeing white. Never felt a thing. When I woke up, I was on the passenger side of my car and the top of my head was in the cracked passenger window. Covered in blood and glass I couldn’t see a thing. All I remember was that my steering wheel column was pressed against my left side. They popped the passenger door off to get me out. Seat belts save lives and as a cop who’s seen many accidents it’s definitely true… however I was not wearing mine that day and that’s why I’m still alive . Back then I was like a buck 38 and the impact flung my scrawny self through the window.
So the end result was pretty much my entire right side was screwed. Stitches in the head, 3rd and 4th vertebrates butted together, fractured my sternum , collarbone, my knee cap moved and I had internal bleeding. I was happy to be alive but depressed cause my life sucked and my car was totalled.

After being so depressed I really got into a negative way. I hated the world. I didn’t want to talk to anyone or do anything, just plain miserable. I walked to smithpoint beach and I sat on the boardwalk and contemplated my life. Now back then I had an aiwa walkman so the song changed from pearl jam ” black” ( very depressing ) to red hot chili peppers ” suck my kiss” ( very hyper). I loved that song. It put a smile on my face. I began singing out loud and looking at the most beautiful sun. It was that day that I changed my outlook on life. I began to be happy, healthy and of course hyper.

I started to ride mountain bikes again and started to train in bjj. They became my passion and I became stronger physically and mentally from both. I ended up getting an apartment in Selden. That’s when I first realized that those hills were no joke. I would try to ride my bike up them when I was training for a race upstate. I still can’t believe that people actually chose to run them for fun πŸ™‚
I never really went for a run because I would always choose to be on my bike. It wasn’t until 2013 when I tore my ucl in my left elbow that I picked up running. I was training for a bjj tournament and I got caught in an armbar and that was that. I had to wear a brace for what felt like forever. When the brace came off it made it very hard to ride a mountain bike because all the bumps really hurt my elbow. That’s when I picked up running. I loved that I could basically run anywhere at any time. My elbow never hurt and I was happy again.

So I started to sign up for a bunch of races. One of them being the Selden Hills run for the hill of it 10k. Shortly I began to realize just how
Addicting running can be. I started to not just run on my own but with the NYPD running club and the Hoptron run club every tues. It felt good knowing that there were so many people that were just as crazy as me to want to run on a Tuesday night in February during a winter mix. I’m sure sometime during this week they will be tagged In a post.
The day of the Selden 10k it was like 98Β°. I was online for the bathroom when I ran into David Northridge, Robyn Hiller McGee and Christine. We had just met like a month earlier but from running with them we had so much past experiences that it was like we began to know all about each other. The entire run we talked and laughed and made the run fun ( well at least I thought it was).
From that run forward I was hooked! I started signing up for more and more runs. Not just for the thrill of running but the commradere. I’ve met so many runners that I consider more than friends but family. People like ( Melissa Lynn, Matt Sirotkin, David Northridge, Robyn, Kenny Janosick, Dee Bee, Mikey Allen and Jaime Allen, just to name a few. I now train with them for runs from 5ks to marathons and love every minute .

I even got my wife into running, which is very important cause it lets me run more πŸ˜‰
Now my son has picked it up and as soon as my daughter is able to go for a run with me sh

e will be leading the way in her jogging stroller! I’m looking forward to one day running the hills with my immediate family, not just with my running family.